Crew Clean Up Debris After Miami-Dade Explosion From Hydroponics Lab

The explosion occurred on Saturday and it had forced the entire neighborhood to be evacuated

By Lisa Orkin Emmanuel and Julia Bagg
|  Monday, Sep 24, 2012  |  Updated 9:21 PM EDT
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County crews were cleaning debris from neighborhood homes after a southwest Miami-Dade home exploded because of a hydroponics lab inside, authorities said.

County crews were cleaning debris from neighborhood homes after a southwest Miami-Dade home exploded because of a hydroponics lab inside, authorities said.

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Home's Wall Exploded, Was Hydroponics Lab: Cops

Police at the scene of a southwest Miami-Dade home explosion confirmed Saturday that the house contained a hydroponics lab. The explosion, which happened just after 11 a.m. near 63rd Street and 151st Place, forced authorities to evacuate the neighborhood. Video of the scene showed several Miami-Dade Fire Rescue trucks on the street and tile blown off of the home's roof. Neighbor Ana Egusquiza talked about feeling the explosion from her home.

RAW VIDEO: Miami-Dade Neighborhood Evacuated After Explosion in Home

A southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood was evacuated Saturday after a wall inside of a house exploded, authorities said. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the incident near 63rd Street and 151st Place just after 11 a.m.
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County fire inspectors declared a southwest Miami-Dade home unsafe Monday, two days after it exploded because of a hydroponics lab inside, according to authorities.

The explosion happened on Saturday just after 11 a.m. near 63rd Street and 151st Place, and it had forced authorities to evacuate the neighborhood. Video of the scene showed the home's roof detached and several firetrucks.

"They have chemicals,” said Miami-Dade Police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta, who said the incident was one of the worst the force had seen in years. “A lot of vapors, use electricity that they steal from company, obviously they don't do it by code, they don't do it by professionals. And when you combine all these elements, it’s just a formula for disaster."

County crews were cleaning debris from neighborhood homes in the aftermath of the explosion.

The fire department said Monday it has handed off the investigation to the Miami-Dade building department. Police said arrests are forthcoming.

"I was in shock," Ceferino Egusquiza, who lives next door, said about the incident. "I can't believe that."

Man in Custody After Hydroponics Investigation

Ana Egusquiza said the explosion caused her house to shake nearby.

"I felt the explosion," she said. "I was at home reading sitting down. The explosion felt like it was coming from the ground and the house shook. When I went outside the windows were blown out and everything was shattered. The front of the house was on the ground. Everything had crumbled."

Another neighbor told NBC 6 South Florida that four adults and one child, who occupied the house as renters, were inside during the incident and then fled in a vehicle.

Police are searching for the home's renters.

Police believe that the homeowner, who surveyed damage to the house, is not involved in the incident.

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